Is there a space in your home that is small and you would love it to be bigger? Well, you may not be able to knock down a wall but you can make your small space live larger! Yes, you can! Today I’m sharing valuable tips to make a small space live large…
HOW TO MAKE A SMALL ROOM LIVE LARGE
Just to be clear we are talking about a small space you want to appear larger and live that way too. We are not talking about those gloriously tiny “jewel box” rooms that revel in being small and different.
So let’s get started with my very favorite tips that will really make a small room look larger…
LIGHT COLORED WALLS AND TIGHT COLOR PALETTE
The very best tip I can give anyone with a small area whose goal is for it to look and live bigger is to paint the walls a light neutral color. Darker colors in a small room give it a cozy but closed in feel. Light colored walls and ceiling will make a small space expand.
If this small area extends into another space make sure it is painted the same color as the room it flows into.
In my home my breakfast nook is small. Like its name suggests it is a nook! And it sits between my kitchen and family room. I would love it to be twice the size but that is not going to happen! So, I painted it a light color like the rest of the downstairs. It has an open, airy and larger feel!
TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE
This is a tip to use for any tight color palette decorating but especially in a small area. Since we want a small room to look larger we need to edit and edit ruthlessly! Getting rid of and exchanging things that don’t work in the room.
So we might take out lots of color but we add in texture! Our eyes can “feel” texture and it translates as interesting and becoming in our brains. Texture = Interest!
Items like the nubby basket, the ribbed pitcher, the nailheads on the chairs, the chippy shutters flanking the windows and the sisal rug are all great examples of texture. And using texture makes a big difference in how small rooms look and feel.
PERFECTLY PROPORTIONED FURNITURE
This is very important! The worst kind of furniture you can put in a small space are petite, delicate pieces. That will just emphasize how small your room is! And trying to stuff big rolled arm chairs and tables with huge legs will make the room look uncomfortable and unwelcoming.
There is quite a subtle dance of proportions when working with a small room. In my breakfast nook, I chose a pedestal table. It is rather large but compact. The chairs snug up to the table. I was able to put a lot into this area because I watched the proportions of the furniture.
Even the chandelier is a good size but again not fussy or overdone. Keeping it simple and chic is the way to go in a small area.
Here are some things to keep in mind…
- Show lots of leg. Keep skirted furniture for bigger rooms
- Use regular size furniture with sleeker lines
- Think about SCALE. Furniture that is too big or too tiny will look odd in a small room.
- Don’t over decorate. Use fewer pieces of furniture in a small room.
LOTS OF LIGHT AND MINIMAL WINDOW TREATMENTS
Rooms on the smaller size need lots of light to make them feel more spacious. If your small room has windows make sure the window treatments on the are very basic side. Fancy or fussy window treatments will make a small area look heavy! No fluff and swags and excessive trim.
Hang curtains as high as possible and let them kiss the floor.
Better yet get rid of curtains and add blinds like the bamboo ones above. Or if privacy is not a concern, let your windows go naked!
I used to have white curtains on the windows flanking the door but got rid of them. Just a layer of decor I did not need in this area.
If your room has limited windows or none at all then flood this room with lighting from a few sources. Overhead, table and task lighting should be used to create pools of overlapping light.
Here are ideas for lighting in a small room…
- medium size chandelier
- tall slender table lamps
- desk lamps with adjustable arms
- floor lamps
ADD A MIRROR
Adding a mirror can fool the eye and make a small room look bigger. The most ideal place to hang a small room is…
- perpendicular to a window so the view reflects into a room
- across from a focal point so the mirror reflects the focal point
- across from an open door to reflect what lies beyond the door
The mirror in our breakfast nook hangs over our bar. It is across from the windows and door balancing the light and making this a very bright area. And a hard area to photograph!!!!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when decorating a small space it putting too much into it! When you don’t have the square footage remember to edit, edit, edit!
That’s true of the furnishings, art, and accessories!
Here’s how my breakfast room once looked…
Honestly, I loved this room. BUT it felt closed in and cluttered to me. And had too much going on as it is situated between two other rooms.
It has lots of breathing room now and the table is the focal point of the room. Clean, simple and tailored.
Here’s what I edited out to give this area lots of breathing space.
- striped rug
- side table by the window
- hen lamp
- accessories on the table
- white curtains
- a wreath on the outside of the door that can be seen through the window
And I added a sisal rug with lots of texture but little color. I also tightened up the colors in the vignette on the table.
Remember less is often best in most decorating!
Small spaces can look very cluttered if anything is out of order. Make a habit of keeping these areas especially free from anything that does not belong there!
Here are a few tips for keeping small areas tidy and organized…
- use baskets and/or bins for corralling items
- have a designated home for everything and don’t put anything in your small area that does not belong there
- several times a day do a check of your small rooms to make sure they are tidy
- before leaving your room straighten up anything out of place.
With these tips and your own flair for decorating your small space can look and live larger!